File(s) under permanent embargo
The role of community activism in the sustainable development of coastal communities : the Nepean Conservation Group Inc, a case study
conference contributionposted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ursula De JongUrsula De Jong
The Nepean Conservation Group Inc (NCG) was formed in 1973. The jurisdiction of the NCG covers the whole the Nepean Peninsula, the tiny sliver of land between Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait, at the end of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Much of the Nepean Peninsula is moonah woodland. The NCG Constitution states that their primary object is “To make every effort to ensure that the land and waters of the Sorrento Portsea Blairgowrie Area are used with wisdom and foresight and that the competing demands upon them are resolved in the best long terms interests thereof …” The NCG deals with issues as diverse as vegetation and development overlays; heritage; townscapes; public access; neighbourhood character; hooded plovers; historic towns and fire protection. The NCG coordinates Friends Groups that care for bushland parks and coastal reserves, for flora and fauna, on the Nepean Peninsula. The NCG is an advocate for a dynamic fragile coast. Implicit is an expectation that such a local community group is the guardian of their coastal environment. After thirty-eight years of dedicated voluntary work it is timely to reconsider the role of community activism in the sustainable development of coastal regions and towns. This paper examines a number of significant recent issues: public rights to access; subdivision; historic coastal town development and fire protection. The author acknowledges the NCG Committee for their support and access to the NCG papers and archives. This case study is situated in a larger ongoing research investigation.